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Costume in 'An Inspector Calls'
Terms in this set (29)
The 4 reasons we use costume are to:
1. indicate time and place.
2. indicate social status within a culture.
3. show the character's emotional state or personality.
4. create symbols to convey themes and ideas to the audience.
When attending a formal occasion, wealthy respectable Edwardian gentlemen would have worn
white tie and tails.
'White tie and tails' means
a white bow tie with a black tail-coat dinner jacket.
Wealthy Edwardian gentlemen would have worn three piece suits meaning
trousers, waistcoat and jacket.
The waistcoat for 'white tie and tails' would always be white. However, you can break the rules like Daldry by using the colour of waistcoats to create
If you decide to break the rules and put Gerald in a grey waistcoat, this would symbolise that he is a
morally grey character, who helps Eva for selfish reasons.
If you decide to break the rules and put Mr Birling in a black waistcoat, this would symbolise that he is
morally corrupt. He has a 'black' soul.
As a designer, you could personalise the mens' costumes with accessories such as
a pocket watch on a gold chain, silver cigar cases and silver cuff links.
If you wanted to personalise Mr Birling's costume with a pocket watch on a 'double Albert' chain, this might symbolise that
as boss he is a fussy time keeper for his workers at the factory.
Since the Inspector is a mysterious character, you have more freedom designing a costume for him. If you want to be historically accurate, you could put him in a 'sack suit'. This featured
a less fitted look and a longer jacket.
Whilst the Inspector's collar would be turned down to show he was a middle-class professional, the Birling men would have
Since the Inspector is a mysterious character, you have more freedom designing a costume for him. For example, you could show he is from the 1940s by placing him in a
brown pinstripe suit, a homburg hat and trench coat.
Mrs Birling would wear a formal dinner gown (dress) with expensive jewellery to show she was wealthy such as
diamonds, pearls and jet beads.
Other accessories Mrs Birling might wear include
a choker and hair ornaments with small jewels in them.
For special occasions, middle-aged Edwardian women would wear
a fussy, detailed dress with beading.
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